Most of us would rather avoid losing something than gaining it.
Psychologists call this loss aversion, and studies show that losses are twice as powerful. We face more pain at the thought of losing $150 than gaining $150, right? Now imagine multiplying this loss by 1,000,000.
What was your first reaction?
Most people would say, nothing. That's because losing $150MM isn't in the realm of possibility for 99.99% of us.
But this is exactly what happened with our guest, Noah Kagan.
Noah was the #30 employee at Facebook, and his options would be worth well over $150MM today. Except he was fired.
I've always believed that one's true character is revealed during our most difficult moments, not when we're thriving. It's the alchemist who can transform a worthless metal into pure gold that we can learn from.
Noah not only overcame his mental depression, but he came back swinging harder than ever. Today, he runs a successful 8-figure business, travels the world as he runs it, and is quite the hilarious entertainer (a rare gem in the world of business)
In this interview, Noah and I cover tons of practical life and business practices. Highlights include how he overcame depression, daily routines & habits that had the biggest impacts on his personal happiness, his biggest lessons going from $0 to $100,000 then 7-figures to 8-figures, and oh so much more.
Let's get to the interview!
Highlights from this Episode
Part 1: Mental Depression and Happiness
- One of the first questions I ask is how Noah dealt with depression after leaving Facebook. After seeing a therapist, he was asked a powerful question that changed his perspective: "What would you have been able to buy with the money that you can't buy now?" It turned out, there wasn't anything else he could have bought.
- Today, Noah runs an 8-figure business, and he talks about how he defines success and how it changed over time. In short, it comes down to working on interesting problems with people he enjoys being around with and impacting people around the world. That's what success is to him.
Part 2: Networking and Relationships
- Noah shares his method of how he chooses his circle of friends and peers today. In his twenties, he would meet with anyone he could, but that's not the case in his thirties. To maximize his time and happiness, he re-evaluates each meeting by asking 'How did meeting this person impact my energy levels?'
- Noah is one of the few people I know that measures just about everything, including how he networks. When he reflects back on how he has been able to connect and build relationships with the ultra-successful, it was as simple as following up.
In addition, Noah talks about the Dream 100 List, the 100 people you would most like to meet in life. Then apply the 1% rule, which is about doing just 1% more than the average person (i.e. sending a gift, giving them new ideas) to capture the attention of your mentor.
Part 3: Business Growth Tactics
- We finish off the last part of the interview with some tactical business advice. I ask Noah about what he would do again if he was to go from $0 to $100,000 in his business. His #1 breakthrough was to figure out what was already working and doing more of it.
For example, when Noah started his company AppSumo, Groupon Deals for Entrepreneurs, he realized that his biggest sales came from the date of deal launch and the last day. As soon as the team went from doing a deal a week to a deal every other day, the business skyrocketed.
- His advice on going from 7-figures to 8-figures? Bring on advisors that complement you and your partner's skill sets. Then incentivize them so they're motivated to work with you over the long haul. This could be asking them to invest or giving them advisory shares, etc.
When I dug deeper into what activity helped his businesses accelerate faster, Noah recommends thinking about your business as a machine. The more you can systemize and document, the easier it will be for you to scale up and grow. An example he provides is an onboarding operation guideline that would enable you to hire and train 10, 20, or even 50 people in a short span of time.
"Go make things that offer value to others and the by-product is that you'll be known." -Noah Kagan
Noah's Challenge to You After Listening To This Episode
"Text one person that loves you and ask 'what's one thing that you like about me?'"